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HomeIllinois NewsObama Administration's DACA program challenged by lawsuits; Trump Administration responds

Obama Administration’s DACA program challenged by lawsuits; Trump Administration responds



Central American minors headed to U.S. in 2014 – Latin American Studies photo

WASHINGTON DC – With several states filing lawsuits against President Trump about the constitutionality of the DACA program, his Administration moved forward Tuesday with a statement that Congress needed to move on reviewing the immigration program set into effect by President Barack Obama.

The Republican National Committee supported the Trump Administration's position on DACA with a collection of statements then-President Barack Obama made as he moved the DACA program into effect: 

"DACA is unconstitutional," the RNC said in a statement, "but don’t just take the Trump Administration’s word for it. Look no further than President Obama’s insistence that taking executive action on immigration reform was unconstitutional—prior to flipping his position on the issue for political purposes."

President Obama stated over and over he had no legal authority to ignore federal immigration law.

Implementing an unlawful program was irresponsible, given that it likely meant the courts would eventually strike it down and leave hundreds of thousands no time to avoid the inevitable disruptions.

Please see below for multiple examples of President Obama stating that unilateral action without Congress on immigration reform is unconstitutional:

July 1, 2010: President Obama, On Taking Executive Action And Ending Deportations: “I Believe Such An Indiscriminate Approach Would Be Both Unwise And Unfair. … This Could Lead To A Surge In More Illegal Immigration.” OBAMA: “For example, there are those in the immigrants’ rights community who have argued passionately that we should simply provide those who are [here] illegally with legal status, or at least ignore the laws on the books and put an end to deportation until we have better laws.  And often this argument is framed in moral terms:  Why should we punish people who are just trying to earn a living? I recognize the sense of compassion that drives this argument, but I believe such an indiscriminate approach would be both unwise and unfair.  It would suggest to those thinking about coming here illegally that there will be no repercussions for such a decision.  And this could lead to a surge in more illegal immigration.  And it would also ignore the millions of people around the world who are waiting in line to come here legally.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks On Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Washington, D.C., 7/1/10)

March 28, 2011: President Obama: “With Respect To The Notion That I Can Just Suspend Deportations Through Executive Order, That’s Just Not The Case….” OBAMA: “With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case, because there are laws on the books that Congress has passed — and I know that everybody here at Bell is studying hard so you know that we’ve got three branches of government. Congress passes the law. The executive branch’s job is to enforce and implement those laws. And then the judiciary has to interpret the laws.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks At Univision Town Hall, Washington, D.C., 3/28/11)

  • Obama Said That Ignoring The Immigration Laws Congress Has Made Through Executive Order “Would Not Conform With My Role As President.” OBAMA: “There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system that for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as President.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks At Univision Town Hall, Washington, D.C., 3/28/11)

April 29, 2011: President Obama On Bypassing Congress To Implement The DREAM Act: “I Know Some Here Wish That I Could Just Bypass Congress And Change The Law Myself. But That’s Not How Democracy Works.  See, Democracy Is Hard.  But It’s Right.” OBAMA: “I strongly believe we should fix our broken immigration system. Fix it so that it meets our 21st-century economic and security needs.  And I want to work with Democrats and Republicans, yes, to protect our borders, and enforce our laws, and address the status of millions of undocumented workers.  And I will keep fighting alongside many of you to make the DREAM Act the law of the land. Like all of this country’s movements towards justice, it will be difficult and it will take time.  I know some here wish that I could just bypass Congress and change the law myself. But that’s not how democracy works.  See, democracy is hard.  But it’s right.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks At Miami Dade College Commencement, Miami, FL, 4/29/11)

May 10, 2011: President Obama, On Bypassing Congress To Change Immigration Law: “That’s Not How A Democracy Works.” OBAMA: “And sometimes when I talk to immigration advocates, they wish I could just bypass Congress and change the law myself.  But that’s not how a democracy works.  What we really need to do is to keep up the fight to pass genuine, comprehensive reform.  That is the ultimate solution to this problem.  That's what I’m committed to doing.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks By The President On Comprehensive Immigration Reform, El Paso, TX, 5/10/11)

September 28, 2011: President Obama: “I Just Have To Continue To Say This Notion That Somehow I Can Just Change The Laws Unilaterally Is Just Not True. We Are Doing Everything We Can Administratively.” HUFFINGTON POST’S GABRIEL LERNER: “Me again. On the DREAM Act that you mentioned before, and this is like a statement from New York City: ‘Mr. President, I am an undocumented law graduate from New York City. I’m just writing to say that your message that you do not have a dance partner is not a message of hope. A real dancer goes out on the dance floor and picks out his or her dance partner. You’re just waiting. You have the facts, numbers, dollars and votes on the side of granting administrative relief for DREAMers. We are doing our part. It is time to do yours, Mr. President.’” OBAMA: “I just have to continue to say this notion that somehow I can just change the laws unilaterally is just not true. We are doing everything we can administratively. But the fact of the matter is there are laws on the books that I have to enforce. And I think there’s been a great disservice done to the cause of getting the DREAM Act passed and getting comprehensive immigration passed by perpetrating the notion that somehow, by myself, I can go and do these things. It’s just not true.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks In An “Open For Questions” Roundtable, Washington, D.C., 9/28/11)

  • Obama: “You Have To Pass Bills Through The Legislature, And Then I Can Sign It.” OBAMA: “Now, what we can do is to prioritize enforcement, since there are limited enforcement resources, and say we’re not going to go chasing after this young man or anybody else who’s been acting responsibly and would otherwise qualify for legal status if the DREAM Act passed. But we live in a democracy. You have to pass bills through the legislature, and then I can sign it. And if all the attention is focused away from the legislative process, then that is going to lead to a constant dead-end.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks In An “Open For Questions” Roundtable, Washington, D.C., 9/28/11)


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  1. The howling, wailing, and gnashing of teeth by the liberal left is music to my ears. Trump’s action on DACA even got a squeak out of the Pip when Barack decided to throw his 2 cents in about it. The New York Times and other media types are trying to make Trump out to be worse than former Dictator Adi Amin from Uganda. Next the press will be telling us that they have uncovered evidence that Trump was a cannibal before being elected President of the United States. Keep on “fixing what is broken” President Trump and you just may get my vote once again when you come up for re-election.